Crushed Tomato Sauce for Pizza

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

By Cat, July 2008, updated Jan 2012 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

You can of course use a cooked tomato sauce, preferably homemade (see Sauces – scroll down to Tomato Sauces for my recipes). Commercially canned sauces can be used in a pinch, but they come with the risk of heavy metals or other toxins leaching from the can or its liner.

Food Mill (Moulinette)

Food Mill (Moulinette)

Traditionally, the sauce is made from crushed fresh, raw tomatoes, and is only cooked with the rest of the pizza. I hate peeling and de-seeding tomatoes, so I use my food mill which crushes the meat of the tomato and removes the seeds and peel all at once. (Photo, left, from Wikimedia Commons).

Plum or Roma tomatoes are the best, but they have to be vine-ripened; another option is vine-ripened cherry or grape tomatoes.

Crushed Tomato Sauce

This sauce is not cooked, and is very quickly made.  If you can’t find ripe plum or Roma tomatoes, use canned whole tomatoes.  San Marzano or Muir Glen are good brands. I like the addition of balsamic vinegar, but I include it as an optional ingredient.

Makes 1 ½ cups sauce (enough for 4 individual pizzas).



  • Sauce:
  • 4 – 6 tomatoes to make 1 ½ cups, (or 28-oz can of whole tomatoes)
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  •  ½ tsp Unrefined sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried or 1 Tbsp fresh oregano, or snipped fresh basil. You can also add ¼ tsp dried or 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Equipment
  • large bowl
  • potato masher or food mill
  1. Instructions:
  2. Peel tomatoes (dip in boiling water for a few seconds; the peel will easily slide off).
  3. Place all ingredients in a bowl and crush with a potato masher or similar tool.  Do not use a blender or food processor, as they will break the seeds and give your sauce a bitter flavor.


Spicy Puttanesca Sauce

Add ½ cup chopped Kalamata olives, 1 Tbsp capers, and ½ tsp crushed red pepper.

Garlic-Robusto Sauce

Add 2 – 3 Tbsp of garlic oil from Caramelized Garlic (see below) and ½ tsp crushed red pepper.

About Cat

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